Series: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes (5 entries)
In this talk, originally delivered at the BioLogos President's Circle meeting in October 2012, Dr. John Walton discusses the origin stories of Genesis 1-3, and why their focus on function and archetypes mean there is no Biblical narrative of material origins.
Life and Death
If you go back into the Genesis account, it says “now do not eat this or you will surely die”. There is a whole chain of events that happens when Adam and Eve decide they want to walk away from God.
Series: From the Dust (13 entries)
In this series, Ryan Pettey offers several clips from his powerful documentary "From the Dust". This feature-length film is divided up into various sections, each of which wrestles with the difficult problems that arise when reconciling Scripture with the theory of evolution. A light of hope dawns on the science-faith conversation, however, as scientists and theologians engage in honest dialogue about tough issues such as the interpretation of Genesis, the nature of the Fall, and the idea of random design. Their profound insights are sure to enlighten all minds, raise deeper questions, and provoke new thought.
Paul’s Perspective on Adam
In this video Conversation, Rev. N.T. Wright responds to the question of how Adam functions theologically in the Old Testament and whether a historical Adam is central or important for the “Adam theology” in Paul’s letter to the Romans.
On the Creation Account
To understand and apply Genesis 1 correctly, we have to consider issues of genre and intention. Too often these chapters are read as if they present a purely straightforward historical and even scientific account of cosmic and human origins.
On What It Means To Be An Image Bearer
In this video conversation, N.T. Wright suggests that what the book of Genesis and the apostle Paul mean by humans "bearing the image of God" is less a static picture and more of a creative, dynamic proposition-- specifically, how we "reflect" God into the world.
On Myth and Meaning
In this video, John Walton talks about ancient myth and how we might better understand it if we think about its intended functionality—that is, myths were a way to explain a culture’s origin and universal significance though they lacked the advances of scientific discovery.
N.T. Wright on Understanding Ancient Texts
In this video Conversation, N.T. Wright emphasizes the importance of understanding the context of biblical texts in order to know whether to read them as literal or metaphorical narratives.
Understanding Genesis and the Fall
In this video clip, Denis Alexander discusses the description of the Fall found in Genesis. Alexander suggests that the picture we might have of the story owes more to the imaginative expansion of the narrative as found in Milton’s Paradise Lost than what is actually present in the biblical text itself.
Revealing God's Nature
In today's video, Brian McLaren discusses the value of considering Scripture in light of the cultures that surrounded them. The Biblical writers were aware of the myths of the power nations that surrounded them, but flipped their stories on their heads to reveal truth about God.
Biblical Genre and Relational Truth
In today’s video, theologian Chris Tilling discusses biblical genre and the relational truth of Scripture. Tilling notes that when we read the Biblical text, we bring our own presuppositions and assumptions to the text (what theologians call “eisegesis”).
What Do You Mean by ‘Literal’?
In this video Conversation, Rev. N.T. Wright responds to the question, “If you take Genesis in a non-literal fashion, especially the creation stories, why take anything in the Bible literally—such as the Gospels? Do you take the Gospels literally?”
Science, Scripture, and the Creation Narrative
In these two brief video Conversations, John Walton discusses the problem of trying to integrate ancient scripture with our modern worldview.
On Genesis 2 and 3
In this video Conversation, N.T. Wright explores how the ancient Jewish audience read Genesis before and up to the time that Jesus arrived. He asserts that readers of Genesis today who focus simply on the number of days of creation and whether there is evidence in the text pointing to an old or new earth—are in effect not reading the complete text.
John Walton offers some important reminders in this video with regard to how we should approach a reading of the book of Genesis. While it is a text that is written for us—in the sense that it was written for all people in all times and places—it was not written to us.
Adam and Eve, History or Myth?
British author, pastor, and theologian Rev. Dr. N.T. Wright suggests that questions concerning Genesis and the historicity of Adam and Eve get caught up in contemporary cultural issues, and miss the larger story.
What factors should be considered in determining how to approach a passage of scripture?
Finding the best interpretation of a scripture passage can be a daunting task. C.S. Lewis advises us to “Look. Listen. Receive.” A good approach is to seek the intended meaning for the original audience before considering what it means for us today. Clues to the original intended meaning can be found in the style of language, the genre of literature, the original audience, and the historical and cultural context. By studying these things, we avoid projecting modern ideas (like science) onto the text.
BioLogos Basics Video #3: What about the Bible?
What we do learn from scripture is that there is only one Creator and that there’s a clear distinction between God and the created world. And that we who are created in the image of God are able to investigate a creation that is remarkably tuned for our discovery.
What do Biblical scholars today say about Genesis 1-2?
In recent decades, evangelical Biblical scholars have reconsidered non-literal interpretations of Genesis. The Accommodation view of St. Augustine and John Calvin is supported by recent discoveries about ancient cultures. Literature from these cultures shows interesting parallels and differences with Genesis accounts. The differences are striking, such as stories where creation is a battle among many gods rather than the acts of one sovereign Creator. The similarities, however, show how God accommodated his message so that the Israelites could understand it. For example, the Egyptians and Babylonians thought the sky was a solid dome. This solid dome appears in Genesis 1 as the firmament created on day 2. God did not try to correct the “science” of the Israelites by explaining that the sky was a gaseous atmosphere. Instead, God accommodated his message to their cultural context. Many evangelical Biblical scholars have concluded that Genesis is not meant to teach scientific information.